Sanctioned Chelsea oligarch Roman Abramovich now has his assets worth £5.4bn frozen – by the tiny Channel Island of Jersey
- Jersey police said they had searched premises believed to belong to Abramovich
- The billionaire, 55, is close ally of Vladimir Putin and is believed to be in Moscow
- He is on Western sanctions list and Tuesday had £90m chateau seized in France
Roman Abramovich has had £5.4billion worth of assets frozen in Jersey as part of the ongoing crackdown on Russian oligarchs following the invasion of Ukraine.
Police on the tiny Channel Island, some 85 miles south of England, said they had searched premises suspected to be connected to the Chelsea owner and his business activities there.
The billionaire, 55, a close ally of warring Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, is currently thought to be in Moscow.
He is facing crippling punitive sanctions from a host of other Western countries, including France, who seized his £90million Riviera Chateau on Tuesday.
The Jersey Law Officers’ Department said in a statement: ‘Search warrants were executed by the States of Jersey Police on Tuesday April 12 2022 at premises in Jersey suspected to be connected to the business activities of Roman Abramovich.
‘The Royal Court also imposed a formal freezing order on April 12, known as a saisie judiciaire, over assets understood to be valued in excess of US$7bn which are suspected to be connected to Mr Abramovich and which are either located in Jersey or owned by Jersey incorporated entities.’
Police on Jersey, some 85 miles south of England, said they had searched premises suspected to be connected to Roman Abramovich (pictured) and his business activities there
Jersey (pictured) is a British Crown Dependency which follows UK policy, and is therefore part of the same sanctions regime.
Abramovich’s Château de la Croë is situated on one of the most prestigious parts of the French Riviera – the Cap d’Antibes – and local estate agents estimate it is worth around £90million
Jersey is a British Crown Dependency which follows UK policy, and is therefore part of the same sanctions regime.
It has been somewhat of a tax haven for decades due to its very low income tax and non-existent inheritance, wealth, corporate or capital gains tax.
Jersey has been a tax haven since the 1920s
Jersey, a 45-square-mile island off the coast of France, falls subject to the British monarchy but retains complete financial and political autonomy.
The island has used its autonomy and singular constitutional relationship with Great Britain to maintain a certain degree of financial independence for centuries, and the profit-minded have been exploiting Jersey’s tax laws for almost as long.
Jersey first gained a reputation as a tax haven in the 1920s, when wealthy Brits began moving to the island, or, in many cases, simply transferring their wealth to the island, in order to benefit from its lack of wealth and inheritance taxes.
In 1928, the Jersey government introduced an income tax of 2.5%.
Under the German Occupation of the Channel Islands, the income tax was raised to 20%, where it remains, but the island still does not have an inheritance, wealth, corporate, or capital gains tax.
As deposits from wealthy individuals filled the nation’s coffers, the revelation that most any tax could be avoided in Jersey brought the banking business to roost on the island, giving birth to one of the most popular offshore destinations for U.S. dollars, rubles, yen, and other global currencies.
Abramovich was last month added to the list of Putin-tied oligarchs who are facing tough economic consequences over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Yachts, mansions and other luxury assets have since been seized from the money-makers.
French authorities yesterday seized his Château de la Croë, situated on one of the most prestigious parts of the French Riviera – the Cap d’Antibes – and which local estate agents estimate to be worth around £90million.
Constructed in 1926, the elegant villa comes complete with over a dozen bedrooms, eight bathrooms and is set in 12 acres of lush woodland and lavish lawns just metres from the Mediterranean sea.
Abramovich spent some £30million restoring the Château after he bought it in 2001, building a 15 metre swimming pool on the roof and inserting a huge gym and home cinema in the basement to create the ultimate billionaire’s play pad.
Before one of Putin’s favourite money-men moved in, the incredible property was used as a holiday home by the former King of England Edward VIII and American socialite Wallis Simpson – better known as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
But not all of his assets have been seized, with superyachts linked to Abramovich worth a collected estimated $1.2bn having been docked in southwest Turkey, outside the jurisdiction of the EU and Britain.
However Antigua and Barbuda, a country in the Caribbean, said it would help the UK seize yachts owned by Abramovich earlier this month.
It came after Abramovich tried to sell his beloved Chelsea club in March, before the UK government froze the asset.
Several billionaire prospective buyers are now competing to take ownership of the club.
Four known bids are still under consideration to buy Chelsea, which could be sold for around £3billion given the interest that has emerged since Abramovich put the west London Premier League club up for sale.
The British government must sign off on the deal, which is being overseen by the New York-based Raine Group merchant bank, under the terms that allow the team to continue operating since Abramovich was sanctioned.
But Abramovich cannot profit from the any of the proceeds.
‘Our role is to consider an application for an amended license that authorises a sale of the club when it comes forward with a preferred bidder,’ the British government said in a statement.
Chelsea has won 21 trophies in 19 years of Abramovich ownership, relying on his lavish investment to become one of Europe´s most successful clubs.
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